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which cruise in 2005 on Jewel?: British Isles/Norweigian Fjords or Scaninavia/Russia?

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#1cruiser!

Guest
#1
June 20th British Isles/Norwegian Fjords or July 2nd, 2005 Scandinavia/Russia cruise?...that is the question! Both are 12 days; both are on Jewel of the Seas. We have already been on a 12 night med. cruise (celebrity) and loved the itinerary/cruise. Both of these cruises sound great but as much as i read the excursions for both online, I still can't decide! Most helpful was a detailed review by Mike and Carol (http://www.thepreismans.com) of their June, 2004 British Isles/Norwegian Fjord cruise on Jewel. Unfortunately, they could not describe Dublin, currently on the 2005 British Isle cruise, because the ship did not stop there or Plymouth, because the weather was too stormy to tender in that port. If ANYONE has a review of the ports for EITHER CRUISE or an OPINION as to which more people prefer, I would really appreciate it! I have noticed that there are 4 sea days (seems like a lot) on the Scandinavia/Russia cruise and 2 sea days (seems like too few) on the British Isles/Norwegian Fjords cruise (plus the last day of the cruise is not a sea day, but a day in Amsterdam). ANY INFO. WELCOME...which would you choose??? ???
 
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thomaseu

Guest
#2
We just finished the 14 night Scandinavia/Russian cruise on Constellation. Any questions just ask. What you really need is someone who has been on both the cruises you are interested in. But don't know if that will happen!
 
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edwardv

Guest
#3
Been on British Isles & Scan/Russia (2), my suggestion - go with the Scandavian with a few extra days in London! - oh, don't worry about the 4 days at sea, you'll need the rest!
 
1

#1cruiser!

Guest
#4
I don't think we will be able to spend a few days in London. Did you prefer the Scandinavia/Russia cruise? If so, Why?
 
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edwardv

Guest
#5
When you take the British Isles trip, you essentially are in one country, (altho a very nice trip with lots to see & do). The Russia/Scandnavian trip provides a variety of countries, languages, sites and cultures. On our last trip a port in Germany was included & we initially had planned not to get off the ship because we had been to Germany many times before. Fortunately we did and had a great day wandering the small port/beach city of Warnemunde. In short this cruise offers more experiences of a wider variety.
 
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thomaseu

Guest
#6
We also enjoyed Warnmunde and took the train to Rostock. This was a very pleasant and relaxing stop on the cruise.
 
1

#1cruiser!

Guest
#7
Thank you for clarifying your discussion. I must say, that although we couldn't go wrong with either cruise, the concensus seems to be in favor of Scandinavia/Russia. That's the way we are leaning, also. Which cruise excursions did you go on (Scandin./Russia) or did you do private tours?
 
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thomaseu

Guest
#8
We did not 'take advantage' of any ship excursions. We felt they were all too expensive. There was a free shuttle bus into the city at each stop [except for St. Petersburg]. We either caught an 'on/off' bus at the port or took the shuttle in. There we found our travel transport if needed. We did a lot of research [from this board and other material] and felt we got the best for our money.

In St. Petersburg we contracted with DenRus [others used Red October] and had a private van with driver and guide/interpreter. We used them for the two days we were there. We certainly got our money's worth with them. The first day's tour was 7 to 5 and the next 9 to 4. One of the advantages of having a private guide was not waiting in lines at the museums, etc. and getting to to unexpected places [metro ride, farmer's market, etc.]
 
1

#1cruiser!

Guest
#9
Thanks...I will definitely look into DenRus and Red October for Russia...we are 3 people...do you need a minimum number to book with them or do they put you in a group with others? And how did you contact DenRus? And did you pay per person?
 
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thomaseu

Guest
#10
I think the rate was for the van regardless of how many [up to ten?]. We paid a little over $500 a couple for two days plus lunches and a tip. The cruise excursion was about that for one day. They may have a car for three people. You can charge it to a credit card for a very small fee.

Send an email to Olga Tarasova and tell her Thomas and Jean from Connecticut recommended them:
denrus@denrus.ru

or do a search for RedOctober and compare prices, you can always search this board as that is where I got the information myself. You have to put the group together yourself if you want more than just your party. That is why so many people advertise on this board to get a van full. We, however, wanted just the four of us as you plan your own agenda [with their guidance]. We didn't want to get involved in large party planning with people we didn't know. It worked out fine and was the highlight of our trip. It was expensive but we don't ever plan on being back there again.
 
1

#1cruiser!

Guest
#11
Thanks again for the info! I have printed everything. We feel great that we have made the decision to do the Scandinavia/Russia cruise. I will continue researching and asking for advice from this board regarding shore excursions and private tours. I welcome any suggestions from anyone who might read this, regarding excursion/tour recommendations for: OSLO, Norway, COPENHAGEN, Denmark, STOCKHOLM, Sweden, HELSINKI, Finland, and TALLINN, Estonia!!!
 
1

#1cruiser!

Guest
#12
Thanks again for the info! I have printed everything. We feel great that we have made the decision to do the Scandinavia/Russia cruise. I will continue researching and asking for advice from this board regarding shore excursions and private tours. I welcome any suggestions from anyone who might read this, regarding excursion/tour recommendations for: OSLO, Norway, COPENHAGEN, Denmark, STOCKHOLM, Sweden, HELSINKI, Finland, and TALLINN, Estonia!!!
 
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thomaseu

Guest
#13
Helsinki, Finland - We took the shuttle to the drop off point in the city. We were able to get the first shuttle. Bought tickets there at a double decker bus. They had reserved seats so we got the two front seats. It was a good tour with photo ops at the Rock Church and the Sibelius Monument. There was plenty of time to take pictures. Since we had time before the bus departure [and the seats were reserved] we had 45 minutes to shop at Stockmans department store a block away. Then we took the shuttle back to the ship

Talinn, Estonia - We took the shuttle to the drop off point just outside the entrance to the old city. We walked it all. Very easy and manageable. The Old City is basically pedestrianized so it is very easy to get around. Then we took the shuttle back to the ship.

Copenhagen, Denmark - We were so early off the ship that the first shuttle wasn't ready yet. So we took a taxi to Ida Davidsen's for lunch for smorrebrod [sandwiches the likes of which we had never seen]. It was quite an experience and quite expensive but worth it. Now I have another checkmark in the '1000 Places to See Before You Die' book! Then we walked the city. Missed Nyhavn the first time but found it the next day, it is very close to the ship drop off. We took the ship shuttle back to port. We did purchase the ship transfer and entrance to Tivoli Gardens for that evening. The next day [we only had that morning] we got a taxi and had him do a quick photo tour of missed spots [palace, Little Mermaid (suggestion: use the Danish term LILLEFRAU as the driver didn't know where we wanted to go until he figured it out in Danish). Then we shopped at the pier.

Stockholm, Sweden - We took the shuttle to the drop off in front of the Dans Museet [museum] and got a tour there. It let us off at the end at the Viking Ship Museum [one of three drop off choices] where we bought tickets and had a short visit. Then we caught the tour bus back to the drop off point where we are lunch at the Museum sidewalk cafe. B/S-in-law took the ferry to the Vasa Museum but we just walked around Gamla Stan over the bridge. Then we all caught the shuttle back to the ship.

Oslo, Norway - can't remember. Will go back at look at pix and post.
 
1

#1cruiser!

Guest
#14
Thanks, Thomaseu! I'm saving all your info. Does anyone who sees this, have favorite places of interest in any of the ports on the Scandinavia/Russia itinerary? Any favorite private tours? Private guides? (I'm already almost sold on Red October in St. Petersburg...will contact them in future, for sure.)
 
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thomaseu

Guest
#15
Read the review of the Baltic Cruise on the Celebrity message board here on this site. They used Red October and were not totally pleased. We used DenRus and didn't have the problem they did.
 
1

#1cruiser!

Guest
#16
Yes, thank you, I did read both, as you suggested. That was the only Red October tour that people didn't rave about. Maybe they had a bad guide???? In any case, I will investigate DenRus as well, of course!
 
L

Lady Jag

Guest
#17
Love the Radiance Class ships!! =love I've never seen a prettier ship, ever! I'd choose the Jewel's Baltic Cruise. The chance to see the Hermitage is very high on my list.